Happy Halloween!

posted by harlie in family, fun

Hope you had as much fun this Halloween as my little felines!


On the up and up

posted by harlie in day-to-day, family

I wasn’t even close to ready for this, but…my baby girl is a climber.

She obviously takes after her papa. The Mr climbed out of his crib before he was even able to walk. He climbed a tree to wave to his mom from a second story window when he was two. He would lure his friends up trees so high that they wouldn’t be able to get down and his mom would have to climb up after them to save them. And, his daredevil ways didn’t stop at tree climbing. He was on a first name basis with the local ER staff. He’s a trouble maker, that one. As his twin sister told me, I need to put her crib on it’s lowest mattress setting and then put a lid over it. She isn’t completely kidding.

I love how proud her brother is that she can stand now. Anyhow, as it turns out, our little lady is trying to walk already. Now, she’s not quite there yet, but as I said, for the last couple of weeks she’s been pulling herself up on just about anything that will help steady her. She’s also ready to hurdle over just about any edge she comes to. I’ve had to catch her at least twice when she unexpectedly scrunched up her legs and launched herself forward. She has also discovered that being held upside down is fun.

She is a girl on the go! I just hope we don’t get as cozy at the ER as her dad did.

Well, at least I may have someone who will ride rollercoasters with me.


Shake and shimmy

posted by harlie in day-to-day, family

We’ve had a lot of concerned phone calls and texts after news of the 6.0 earthquake south of Napa. We’re fine. We’re about a 45-60 minute drive from the epicenter and that makes all the difference. In fact, while I felt the quake, I didn’t think it was serious one until I heard about it later that day. I woke up to the bed doing a bit of a shimmy and heard the house rattling a bit. It lasted a while, but it still took me a while to realize it was probably an earthquake. After things stopped moving, I just listened. After I didn’t hear any serious creaking, cracking, crashing, crying or alarms going off, I just went back to sleep. The rest of the family slept through it.

That said, we have some friends nearer the epicenter and there was some considerable damage up north. It sounds as if they are recovering quickly, but even though everyone is safe, it’s always a scary and potentially expensive experience.

Meanwhile, though we’ve been reminded to check our emergency supplies and our flashlight batteries, we’re a-ok.


He’s THIS many!

posted by harlie in family, fun

Actually, Lil’Man has never said that because he can easily articulate the fact that he’s three (though he will often hold out his fingers, just to make sure you know). We didn’t have a huge celebration, but we did enjoy some train and carousel riding. It was a bit colder and slightly drizzly, but we had jackets to keep us warm and a blanket to keep us (relatively) dry.

By the way, he wanted me to know that the rose on his horse was for me. I love my Lil’Man.

And of course, there was cake and candles.

Happy birthday, kiddo!


Happy House-iversary!

posted by harlie in day-to-day, family, home

Welp, it’s been a full year since we moved into the house that made us homeowners.
12 months.
52 weeks.
365 days.
Lots and lots of hours, minutes and seconds.

After the craziness of the year, it definitely feels like home.  We love the community here. We’re still learning about the tri-city area, but we’ve definitely found some gems. Lil’Man and his dad have some favorite hiking trails. We have some go-to restaurants for different occasions. My husband and I love going to the local theater for date night (it’s an older theater with updated tech…win/win!). The playground at the local school is practically in our backyard and the larger town park is just a 15 minute bike ride or a 5 minute car ride. The local barber knows my guys and gives a treat to Lil’Man when he sits still for his haircut. We got family zoo memberships. The fire station is within walking distance of our house and Lil’Man has been to visit (what toddler doesn’t love firetrucks?). We’re recognized at the local hardware store and often I’m asked our our last project went.

Well, maybe that last one is an iffy-good thing, since we’re usually in there because something in the house needs updating or fixing. Little by little, we learned our house’s quirks and oddities while also changing things up and making our own mark here.  Painting walls, laying down rugs, hanging photos, playing with furniture arrangements…all the fun things you get to do when you move into a new home.  More importantly, we’ve done a lot to remove the weirdness and bad DIY that the previous owners inflicted on the house.  We haven’t gotten all of it by a far shot, but they were here for more than a decade, so there’s no way we could have fixed it all by now (not without the budget and labor force of a small country, anyhow).  So we have an abundance of home-improvement projects to look forward to in the years to come.

I don’t think we have a single room that I’d declare is anywhere near “complete” (a term I use loosely since I’ll eventually want to tweak even the nicest of rooms). In fact, some rooms still have MAJOR overhauls coming and we still have boxes of hardwood flooring for our stairs sitting in our family room. Which is annoying and absolutely my fault. I just need to call the contractor…ugh. Of course, non of that stops Lil’Man from racing me from the kitchen to his room (spoiler alert: he always wins) or our Little Lady from screaming in glee as she rolls around with her toys in the living room. They love snuggling in bed with us on the occasional Saturday morning and cozying up on the couch for storytime before bed. It’s obvious that the kids love our home and we love living in it with them. We’ve come such a long way from where we started.

Our main living area. Note the toys. In both photos. Usually they look like they exploded all over the room. We do tidy them up, but I don’t see any reason to hide them. Also, that fireplace is not only hideous (you really have to see it in person to appreciate it’s awfulness) improperly installed and a certified fire hazard (VERY bad DIY). We’ll be tearing that down and reworking the entire thing, hopefully sooner than later.

We’re planning on renovating the kitchen down the line, so we haven’t done much to it except paint and add shelves to the blank wall. Big honkin’ shelves. Thanks IKEA!

(I ran out of adorable candids to use for the before shots, so you’ll just have to settle for the realtor images from when we bought the house. Sorry!)

In the master, we mostly just painted and replaced the curtains (spider-egg remnants aren’t my thing). We think this might become Little Lady’s room down the line, so this can be the kids’ side of the house, but that’s another fairly big reno that will have to come after the kitchen reno.

Lil’Man’s room is still IP (gotta fix those curtains and work on the art), but he loves it and that’s what matters.

You can’t tell from this angle, but the dresser still isn’t done. Sorry grandparents! I promise I’ll finish it, Mom! We have to finish the lower drawers before she starts crawling anyhow. And the next ones up when she starts cruising. And probably the next before she’s walking.

Probably the most different room, since we’re using it differently than the previous owners. Who, by the way, never used that fireplace despite what that layout makes it look like. There was a mummified squirrel in the flue that fell out during our buyer walk through. *shudder*

Oh, and can’t forget the awful red laundry room. We still have a lot (A LOT) to do here, but at least the walls no longer look like they’re bleeding. By the way, that green tile? Apparently the previous owners felt they “coordinated” with the red walls.

So…yeah. There’s still a few rooms we haven’t touched, but slowly we’re making this house our home more to our liking. I just have to remember to enjoy it now and not keep thinking about the next project. So, I’m going to go look up cookie recipes with Lil’Man and see what he’d like to make this weekend. I think he’ll be into that.

† The zoo is not strictly in our city, but we’re pretty excited about it all the same. If you visit, we can take you to the zoo with us FOR FREE!  Really, we’ll take you to the zoo.

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